Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy FIRST Birthday Gibs!

I cannot believe that this little handsome and ever cheerful man is ONE today!


What a cutie! Even at birth he was just a happy and content little guy! 

It has been quite the year and I'm both sad and happy to have it behind us now. Happy because it was an extremely emotional year as we struggled with Gibson's weight constantly and the possibility of a chromosomal deficiency. HAPPILY, I am confident that a majority of that is behind us. Gibson is gaining properly (still with an increased intake) and is thriving. In April we will go back to a specialist to test his metabolism but feel so blessed that it only looks to be an increased metabolic rate at the moment. WE WILL TAKE IT!

Beyond the weight struggles and weekly visits to the doctor and physical therapist we had SOOO many wonderful moments in this last year... beginning with holding him for the first time

Seeing his relationships grow with his siblings! Emma took to him right away... Hunter was a little less enthusiastic about his addition to our clan but now he is IN LOVE and includes Gibson in play time.

All of the trips and day outings that we have taken

His first Christmas! he loved all of the lights and the crinkly wrapping paper.

And we even look back fondly on his many appointments. He was just such a happy man through it all and we feel so blessed that he is in our life!

I cannot wait to see who this little man grows up to be!

Here is a little status update for Gibson at ONE YEAR!
 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thrifted Thursday: Records AND Party decorations

It might come as a surprise but my little guy turns one next week and falling right in line with his name and the theme of his old nursery we decided to throw him a Rock Star themed birthday party!

One of my besties Virginia took some amazing photos of Gibson that we used for the invitation.

and this was the photo on the save the date that we sent electronically through Paperless Post.

LOVE them! Virginia is so talented and the owner of House of Maps Photography!

Once the invites were sent it was time to focus on decorations. Like any mother looking for inspiration I clicked over to Pinterest.

One thing that I came across again and again were decorations made with old records. HELLO PERFECT for my Gibson!

I bought old records in bulk from eBay and Thrift stores. I purchased both the standard and smaller sizes.

I'm going to use them in so many ways!

BOWLS...

Tiered Trays

Garland...

Table Runner...

AND more... I cannot wait to share all of the details after the party on Sunday... but until that I'm just loving that I was able to repurpose a thrifted find!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Crock Pot Cooking: Cinco De Mayo Pork

I've been a blogging slacker the last few weeks but I promise that I have still been pretty busy and working on multiple projects.

With so much on my plate lately I've really been relying heavily on menu planning, Plated, and utilizing our slow cooker more. A few weeks ago I made SUPER YUMMY Cinco de Mayo Pork.


Even the kids approved and it was so easy to make.


Ingredients:
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1t Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 t Chili Powder
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 lbs. Boneless pork shoulder meat, excess fat removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2t Salt
  • 1 Cup Prepared Salsa
  • 1/3 Cup Beef Broth
  • 16 oz package of frozen corn, Defrosted
  • Flour or Corn tortillas (I used Corn)
  • Guac, sour cream or any additional toppings that you prefer

Directions:
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin, chili powder, and garlic and saute until the garlic and spices are fragrant, about 1 minute
  • Sprinkle the meat with the salt and brown the pork on all sides in the seasonings. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.
  • Add the salsa and broth to the skillet, scraping any brown bits from the bottom. 
  • Transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker and add corn. stir to combine.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours 

Serve the pork with warmed tortillas

Even the kiddos approved!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Favorite Things Friday: Cookbooks

For my Favorite Things Friday I want to share some details about some of my truly favorite things... COOKBOOKS

It is no big to surprise to anyone reading this that I'm a fan of cooking but I want to let you in on a dirty little secret... I LOVE buying new cookbooks. Matt thinks I have a sickness and I will fully admit that I have an obsession. In fact this is about 1/5 of my cookbook collection.
 in addition to my cookbooks I also subscribe monthly to Cooking Light Magazine and Cuisine at Home

Now, ff I had to pick my top five it would have to be these. They are the ones that we cook from most frequently.

Ina Garten - Make it Ahead:

There are some great recipes for entertaining within this amazing Ina Garten cookbook. I honestly love all of her books but I'm a huge fan of making meals ahead of time! This is a real winner in my book!

Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever
Lately I've found myself making dinners in the slow cooker over the weekends so that we can have hearty yummy dinners without spending hours in the kitchen developing all of the flavor profiles. This cookbook is also MASSIVE!

The Bon Appetit: Fast, Easy, Fresh Cookbook
This cookbook inspired the start of this blog and since 2009 it has remained my go-to cookbook! I think that this is a MUST OWN!!! If you do not already have this GO AND BUY IT!!!!

Cooking Together
This is a favorite of Emma's and she weekly cooks from its pages. It means so much that we have time together in the kitchen and I love that she takes so much pride in the meals that she prepares.

Sheet Pan Suppers
Many thanks to Stephanie for turning me onto my newest cookbook! Everything that I've cooked from here has been killer! I also love that with just a minimal amount of prep I can toss something onto a sheet pan and BAM a full meal! After putting the meal into the oven I can get a jump start on cleaning up the kitchen and spend time with the kiddos. BEST PART is that since everything cooks in only one pan I don't have a million dishes to do at the end of the night.

Bottom line is that I highly recommend all of these cookbooks for very different reasons.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Merge: Two become One

I wanted to share the current status of the room merge. The boys have now been rooming together for about a week and a half now and both seem to be adjusting really well.

Only big difference is that if Hunter wakes up early he use to just sit in his room and look at a book and fall back to sleep... now out of consideration for his little brother he hops right out of bed, quietly, and heads up to our bedroom. So now around 6:30 in the morning we have Hunter cuddle time.

on to the changes in the space...

I love the new headboard from Target. We had originally thought that we would not do a box spring to keep the bed low to the ground and easier for Hunter to get in and out of. but I think that the bed needs some additional height so that is a project for the weekend. I'm also planning on sewing the bed skirt this weekend... Excited that it will add a pop of color. under the comforter.

In between the letter H and the headboard I plan to add a large b&w framed photo... Just need to update the ones that we currently have and move it over.

The half wall where the frames currently hang (See Below) also needs an update... I'm thinking we might re-position the pictures and add a guitar or two.


I also want to add Gibson's name in some way to the trunk that I personalized a few years ago.

Already merged a few of the toys and albums from Gibson's old room... Just need to play around with the organization a little more

AND now for our big problem area... the closet...

To say that I need a better system is a HUGE understatement! the doors are currently broken from Emma playing hide and seek in here... So Matt's big project for the weekend is to stain and install new doors as well as purchase a closet organization system... Matt's dad is coming into town next weekend and I plan to have them do the install together.
I am SOOO excited about re-organizing this space!

So that is where we currently stand.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Yay for warmer weather

I am SOOO excited about the warmer weather and longer days that we have been enjoying this week.

Is has been an opportunity to resume daily family walks and a chance to get out some 2 year old energy before calming down for the evening.
 
 
 I prefer this over a bounce house in my living room!
 
Now I just need to resume running!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kitchen Issues

Right up front I will fully admit that I have issues people! I am aware and I accept the fact that I have the need to update everything in my life... I cannot just let something be...

Case and point.. I wanted to buy a kitchen for Hunter and I wanted it to go in my kitchen... So I needed something nice... Well homeboy's kitchen is now just about the nicest thing in my house!!!


AND it isn't even done yet! This weekend I have plans to add some backspash... again I have issues!

I originally started with the IKEA DUKTIG play kitchen:
  
First step was to cover the counter-top with "marble" contact paper purchased for $10.99 from Amazon. 

The rest of it was painted with Annie Sloan Paris Gray chalk paint.

I decided on chalk paint for two reasons... I already had it and it sticks great to laminate. There was no need to sand or prime the surface! SO EASY!

Here is was with just the base...

And again with the top hutch attached:


Additional plans for the kitchen include the "tile" backslash... I actually already purchased these adhesive "tiles" from Home Depot... Just need to attach them to a foam-core board and it will go on the opening between the base & hutch:

I'm also thinking that I might update the handles... cannot wait to share the finished product next week!